Special Revenue Funds

Foundation for Excellence

Foundation for Excellence

The Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence (FFE) was created to address challenges to the prosperity of the city in order to help make Kalamazoo the most dynamic, fulfilling and equitable place that it can be for all neighbors to live, work, and enjoy life. To address its challenges the FFE provides funds to stabilize the City’s budget, lower the property tax rate, and invest in the City’s aspirational community projects and programs. A fundraising campaign will work to fully endow the FFE with the goal of sustaining its work forever.

The FFE’s financial model is structured to do the most good most efficiently. The FFE operates in an exclusive financial relationship with the City of Kalamazoo in a nationally unique model. FFE funds directly support programs and projects of City departments in their work, often conducted with partners whose missions align with the goals and objectives of the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Strategic Vision and other adopted City plans. Each of these plans, such as the Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo plan, is built on deep investment in broad community engagement and reflects a pathway to improve life for all neighbors.

The 2023 budget follows the method of determining the annual distribution set forth in section 9.03 of the bylaws and supports the FFE’s mission to support the goals of the City of Kalamazoo, fund aspirational investments in the city, and empower Kalamazoo residents to achieve the lives they want for themselves and their families. The budget also takes into consideration the opportunities presented by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support aspirational programming and the capacity of the City to complete a comprehensive array of aspirational projects within a calendar year.

Since its creation in 2017, $147.8 million of funds contributed in support of the FFE’s goals have provided unprecedented financial stability for the City. With a stable budget, City services are being maintained and adapted to community needs based on the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Strategic Vision. Kalamazoo City property taxpayers have experienced relief from $74.0 million of tax liability since 2017 following the reduction of the City’s property tax millage from 19.2705 mills to 12.0000 mills. This reduction makes Kalamazoo more competitive in retaining and attracting residents, businesses, and jobs.

Finally, $53.3 million has been budgeted for aspirational projects since 2017 for innovative projects and programs that align with the Imagine Kalamazoo vision, including the Youth Mobility Fund, affordable housing initiatives, complete streets and park improvements, economic development assistance to small businesses, and grantees of the Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo High Impact Fund.

Learn more about FFE by visiting their website at https://www.kalamazoocity.org/ffe

Core Services

  • Budget Stabilization funds for the City
  • Property Tax Relief makes Kalamazoo more attractive to businesses and residents and more competitive with surrounding or peer cities.
  • Aspirational activities in 2023 will include:
    • Youth Development
      • Summer Youth Employment
      • Super Rec Summer Camp
      • All Things Possible Summer Camp
      • Youth Development Stipend Payments
      • Youth Action Council
    • Economic Vitality
      • Kalamazoo Continuum of Care
      • Business Development Funds - Technical Assistant Grants
      • Business Development Funds - Capacity Building Training Program
      • Site Acquisition

  • Inviting Public Places
    • Downtown Kalamazoo Ambassador Program
  • Environmental Responsibility
    • 322 Stockbridge Continued Planning
    • Kalamazoo Roots
  • Connected City
    • Traffic Calming
  • Complete Neighborhoods
    • Sidewalk projects - Compliance, Gaps, GIS Inventory
    • Portage Street Shared Use Path Survey and Design
  • Good Governance, Program Costs
    • FFE Personnel

The Foundation for Excellence (FFE) Aspirational Projects Fund is used to account for revenues received from private donors to fund aspirational projects based on the results of the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 plan including generational poverty, youth development, employment, capital and human infrastructure, economic development and inviting public spaces.

The budget below is presented in two formats:

  • Revenues and Expenditures by Type provides information on the type of resources and expenditures used to carry out the aspirational project goals.
  • Expenditures by Priority Program Areas provides the total expenditures by the primary targeted goal area under the IK2025 priorities.

The budget below represents the use of prior year fund balance for 2023.

Foundation for Excellence - 2023 Aspirational Fund Detail

Foundation for Excellence - City Aspirational Fund - Revenues and Expenditures by Type

Foundation for Excellence - City Aspirational Fund - Expenditures by Priority Program Areas

Foundation for Excellence - Endowment

This section highlights the expected expenditures and transfers out of the Foundation for Excellence endowment for 2023.